Southern Turkey is home to one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world. With perfectly turquoise Mediterranean waters, a nice mix of wide, sandy beaches and dramatic, rocky cliffs, and a totally unique and engrossing cultural and historical side, this region is the perfect holiday destination. But where to stay? Side, one of the most popular resort centers, has almost too many options to choose from. Here are ten of the best:
Want to escape children (your own or others’)? This is the perfect place. With no guests allowed under 13 years of age, the romantic possibilities open up endlessly, and vacations are that much more relaxing. Voted one of TripAdvisor’s “Best Hotels of 2012,” the Alba Royal offers an excellent selection of facilities, bars, restaurants, pools, and very comfortable and spacious rooms. It’s located right on the beautiful beach and has a distinctive and memorable character.
This excellent member of the SENTIDO chain of resorts is conveniently located for those interested in exploring some history and archaeology in addition to enjoying the sublime relaxation that a high class beach resort like this can offer. The SENTIDO Perissia is located at the boundary between the trendy, beautiful beachfront promenade that most of the resorts in the area share and the beginning of historical Side. Its wide range of amenities and activities make it a prime choice for couples or families.
Trendy Palm Beach
If escaping the bustle of the resort center is important to you, the location of the Trendy Palm Beach may be especially appealing. The restaurants and bars here get extra marks, as do the beach activities like canoes and pedalos. As with most resorts in Turkey, its spa is particularly well-developed. Turkish massage is a world-famous art, and guests here report that it is especially blissful. And as you might expect from the name, the beach is beautiful.
Large, stylish, and full of fun, the Alba Queen is an excellent choice for family vacations. There are waterslides leading into its expansive swimming pools, there is a ten-pin bowling alley, and the whole resort is located right on the beach. Children are well cared for at the thoughtful mini-buffet, the playground, and the hotel-run “kid’s club.” If your family is active and likes to get around a lot on their holiday together, there are transportation options to Side, Çolakli, and other nearby centers.
If you’re looking for a more comfortable, homey feel, then Sunlight Garden may be the best choice for you. This resort takes a much heavier emphasis on apartment-style accommodation, making it much easier to feel at home and creating inexpensive options for large families and groups that want to stay together without paying exorbitant room rates. The community feeling here is heightened by the smaller size and overall layout centered around the two outdoor pools.
This is another highlight on TripAdvisor’s “Best Hotels of 2012” listing, and with good reason. Voyage Sorgun is located at the edge of a pine forest, with a secluded beach and a private dock that make waterskiing, scuba diving, and other fun activities possible. If you’re hanging around the hotel, you can engage in bowling and pool, or catch a movie at the mini cinema. Between shows, you’ll have to choose between nine restaurants, six swimming pools, and 12 bars. This one’s a winner.
For those hoping to enjoy the luxuries of the top resorts while still being mindful of their budgets, the Kentia Apartments complex is a great option. By staying just 1.3 kilometers away from the beach (and enjoying easy transportation to and from it), your family can save a lot of money while booking accommodation. You’ll still enjoy great food, attractive pools, and frequent evening entertainment, as well. It’s definitely a smart choice for those that want to save their money for more traveling in the future.
Elegant, right on the beach, and full of amenities, the Hotel Asteria offers luxurious rooms and great activities in a central location. There is a sense of sophistication here that not all resorts manage to exude, but it is palpable. If you stay at the Asteria, you will enjoy great service, food, spa treatments, and more. Not that you’ll ever need to leave the resort for anything, but if you ever decide that you need a change of scenery, you’re not far from Side and other communities.
Crystal Palace Luxury Resort & Spa
If you’ve come for comfort, you’ve come to the right place. The Crystal Palace Luxury Resort & Spa offers every indulgence you could ever require, in a full package that is stylish and downright heavenly. Getting massage and other treatments here will make you wish you could stay forever. It’s remoteness is part of the charm–you’re not far from the shops of Gundogdu and Çolakli, but are far removed enough from the main press of visitors to not feel overwhelmed. Of course, all the usual amenities are provided, and are as excellent as you’d expect.
Paloma Ocean Resort
As the face of tourism changes in Turkey, hotels are adapting and upgrading. Formerly known as the Paloma Beach Resort, the Paloma Ocean Resort has received some major updates to prepare it for the next tourist season, and is one of the best of the family-friendly options. Featuring tons of activities for kids, modern decor, and friendly staff, this is an excellent choice. The waterpark comes highly recommended, as do the multitude of bars and restaurants.
Enjoying comforts like those offered at these hotels is one of the best parts of traveling. Do yourself a favor and treat yourself to stay on the Turkish Riviera, and enjoy all that this great region has to offer.